Opinion

Look behind the closed doors and help

April highlights two important issues that affect our community – sexual assault and alcohol abuse.

The severity and impact of these issues may not be truly realized by most people since a lot of it occurs behind closed doors. However, sexual assault and alcohol abuse impact many people across the globe, including families here in Barnwell County.

Public invited to attend DIG STEM Festival

Dear Editor,

Dreams Imagination & Gift Development Program (DIG) will host its 2nd annual DIG STEM festival Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Main Street, Williston. The family-friendly event will provide engagement activities between the youth, families, and STEM professionals.

The festival’s purpose is to increase awareness in rural communities about the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) field. Families are encouraged to attend the fun-filled event and participate in STEM educational and entertainment activities.

Turnout needed for school board elections locally

Next Tuesday is an important date for Barnwell County’s registered voters.

It’s not a national or state election, but it is just as important – maybe more - as several school board seats will be decided on Barnwell County’s three public school boards.

Electing school board members is very important because they directly impact your child’s education by setting policy, adopting a budget and hiring key positions like the superintendent.

Unfortunately, school board elections aren’t typically known for large turnouts.

Every vote counts and every vote matters

Dear Editor,

On Tuesday, April 11, we go to the polls to elect school board trustees for Barnwell County’s three school districts. This should be one of the most supported elections, since this is dealing with our schools and the future of our county.

Unfortunately, this election is one of the least supported in terms of voter turnout.

In the Blackville-Hilda District 19 and Williston-Elko District 29, only the incumbents filed for office for the one seat open in each of these districts. In Barnwell District 45, there are four candidates vying for two open seats.

Now you see it, now it’s different

Residents attending the Barnwell County Council meeting recently were treated to a magic show.

Now you see it, now it’s different.

The Barnwell County Council held third reading of an ordinance on March 14 which gave them the authority to move all property and assets away from the Economic Development Corporation.

The same ordinance also took away all power except advisory from those serving on the Barnwell County Economic Development Commission.

There’s lots to do if people show up

“There is nothing to do in Barnwell County.”

“Our children need positive outlets to be involved with.”

We have heard these statements – or at least ones very similar – from numerous people over the years.

While our small, rural community lacks some of the amenities and resources that are abundant in larger areas, some recent opportunities show there might be more to the issue.

The problem is a lot of times people simply do not support the initiatives and events Barnwell County does have to offer.

Teen Summit, Anti-Bullying Spirit Week give hope, help

Being a teenager can be quite difficult.

From peer pressure and trying to fit in to juggling school, work and extra-curricular activity commitments and making plans for the future, the teenage years can seem very overwhelming.

However, with guidance, determination and a willingness to listen to adults who want to help, there is hope.

The Axis 1 Center of Barnwell is a great local resource for many folks. This Saturday they are partnering with several community organizations to sponsor the inaugural Barnwell County Teen Summit.

‘Sunshine’ is for the people, not the press

It is Sunshine Week in South Carolina.

The week is an annual nationwide celebration of access to public information and what it means for you and your community.

But every week in our state, newspapers are stepping up to see that the public has access to government meetings and records.

You might not know about these efforts, but if you read on you will learn of some of the outstanding ones entered this year into the S.C. Press Association’s Freedom of Information contests.

Local urges awareness of kidney disease

Dear Editor,

March has been designated as “Kidney Awareness Month” and unless it affects you or a family member, you probably give it very little thought. I gave it no thought at all until I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Failure in 1997. I was in shock and disbelief. There were no warning signs, other than fatigue, which I attributed to long work hours.

At age 42, I found I was born with one kidney (Alsport Syndrome), but had no problems and my doctor thought I would not have any trouble. My condition is hereditary and usually manifests itself at an earlier age.

Nothing good will come from EDC ordinance

In January we begged the question of “Why now?” with regards to some Barnwell County Council members’ move to dissolve the Economic Development Corporation and turn the commission into an advisory committee.

In February, in a split 5-2 vote, the Barnwell County Council approved second reading of that ordinance. Next week, third reading is expected to be held on Tuesday, March 14. That will be the final vote to make that ordinance effective.

Week 5 of Church Covenants: Driving Spirit of the Covenant

It’s hard to believe this is week five of rediscovering the Church Covenant.

The central theme is this: Christian fellowship is a family kinship that extends beyond church boundaries. Wherever you go, even to another city or state, you meet Christians and you feel right at home.

We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.

Mayors ask council to vote ‘no’ on ordinance

The following letter was sent to members of the Barnwell County Council regarding the Economic Development Corporation (EDC):

Gentlemen,

The Mayors of the undersigned Municipalities in the county are writing County Council to urge the County not to vote in favor of making the EDC Board purely advisory in nature. When the Municipalities negotiated with the County to return property conveyed to the Municipalities, a purely advisory board was rejected by the Municipalities.

Black thankful but moving to ‘a new season’

Dear Editor,

According to Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under Heaven:.....” Just as the writer of this passage in the Bible describes a time for “everything”, I believe individuals go through various personal and different seasons in their lives. Changes, new paths, and fresh ventures occur in our lives.

Huff family expresses thanks for compassion

Dear Editor,

The family of Merrick Lane Huff wishes to acknowledge the many expressions of love, support and compassion from friends and loved ones during this time of sorrow.

Whatever you did to console our hearts, we thank you so very much.

It’s the same story the crow told me,

It’s the only one he knows.

Like the morning sun you come,

and like the wind you go.

- Merrick Lane Huff 1972-2017

May God bless and keep all of you.

The family of Merrick Lane Huff

‘A Grimm Night’ was a delightful performance

Dear Editor,

A Grimm Night for Hans Christian Andersen turned out to be a delightful evening for the audience.

A retelling of the well-known fairy tales with a comical twist was performed fabulously by the young cast. I had the opportunity to visit one of the rehearsals and saw the amount of hours, enthusiasm, dedication, effort and energy poured into the play.

The volunteers at Circle Theatre create opportunity for our children to enjoy culture and theatre in a small town. You enrich us all and make Barnwell a better place.

Miller family grateful

Dear Editor,

The family of the late Easter Miller would like to extend our upmost gratitude for your prayers, condolences and thoughtfulness during our time of sorrow. The sympathy cards, prayers, visits, prepared foods and all other gestures were greatly appreciated as well. Please continue to keep our family uplifted in prayer during the healing process.

Our deepest gratitude,

The Miller family

McNeil family thankful

Dear Editor,

The family of Steve McNeil would like to thank everyone for the many expressions of kindness, support and love you have shown to us during this period of bereavement for our family. It has been a comforting blessing to each of us.

God Bless you all.

Debbie McNeil and family

Week 4 of Church Covenants: The Forgiving Spirit

A forgiving spirit means we always have one another’s best interests at heart. More than ever, we need a forgiving spirit in our world today. Here it is. Take heart!

“We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love, to remember each other in prayer, to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech, to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.”

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